The good news: There are more bookstores in the United States than last year. The great news: Eight of those bookstores are here in Indianapolis. In addition to Indy Reads, Irvington Vinyl & Books, and Kid’s Ink, there are four—soon to be five—new independent bookstores in the city. Read on to learn more.
Dream Palace Books & Coffee
This combination used bookstore-coffee shop is at 16th and Pennsylvania streets. When it opened in October 2023, it fast became a hotspot for meetups and study sessions. Order a seasonal latte, then browse books by LGBTQ+ and Black authors, titles from small presses, and books about photography and art.
Golden Hour Books
Golden Hour Books devotes 100 percent of its space to new books, including Kate Chopin classics, small press children’s titles, and books for aspiring (and current) artists. Located at 52nd Street and College Avenue, this eclectic “bookstore for continuing education” also offers various workshops and book clubs.
Indy Reads carries used and new books for every member of the family and has a “pay what you can” shelf. (What’s more, every purchase supports free adult literacy programs.) This Fountain Fletcher staple also hosts game nights, open mic nights, and drag story hours.
Irvington Vinyl & Books
Irvington Vinyl & Books markets itself as “weird, vintage, and local.” In addition to selling quality used records, the store also carries used and new books, as well as poetry and prose from small presses. It’s also a good spot to browse zines—if that’s your scene.
For more than 30 years, Kid’s Ink has specialized in children’s books, games, and puzzles. (They also carry books for young adults.) You can also attend story time, author visits, and other events at this store, which is located at 5619 N. Illinois St.
Loudmouth Books is a queer, Black, and woman-owned bookstore on 16th Street. The kid-friendly store opened in the spring of 2023 and celebrates banned books and work by marginalized writers. Step inside and browse the shelves of diverse, lifesaving, and life-affirming books for all ages..
This general interest bookstore focuses on human-centric stories and global voices. Located near Bottleworks, this relatively new store hosted 17 local authors and more than 60 events in 2023. When you go, check out the staff picks and say “hello” to the resident cat, Sweet Potato.
The Whispering Shelf
The Whispering Shelf will open in the spring of 2024. The general interest bookstore, which will be in Lockerbie Square, will carry new and used books and include a children’s section.